Author Topic: Another "Jalopy"  (Read 1168 times)

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Olderndirt

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2021, 07:16:33 PM »
 At our track there were a lot of flathead Fords in the early days, but there were a lot of Mopar flathead sixes too. The sixes were easy to get, and no hotrodders were interested in them. The local machine shop was where all the “high performance” stuff happened. Like milling heads, to jack up the compression, and lightening the flywheel, so the rpm’s would come up faster, and of course boring the cylinders out for bigger pistons. There were even a couple of Buick straight eight powered cars for a while. But all that changed when overhead valve V8’s became readily available.
 It wasn’t all that serious back then, because nobody had to mortgage their home to go racing.

  Olderndirt

Maineboy

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2021, 09:41:44 PM »
Old.....you and I are surely cut from the same cloth. Most people today, not all that younger than us, some of them anyway, did not see what racing was when we LIVED it. Flathead Ford V-8's were everywhere and you could usualy find one for nothing some place. I cut my mechanical teeth on more than a few of them. Just sold my last one about 5 yrs ago, in running condition. Sold it to a guy restoring a period car and gave him a good deal. Parts for them today are sky high. But that engine was more prominent than all the rest of them at that time in Maine. I think the 6 cyl classes came along as just a way to get lots more cars and guys to race. A 270 GMC 6 was extremely competitive then, and lots of Chrysler 6's did way better than one would think.

But we both lived in a day when racing cost lots of time and sweat but very little money which was a good thing. And the  most important thing of all is the entire family was behind us totally. We lived for Sunday's in the summer.  As you say the junkyards were our friend and we pretty much knew what the inventory was in most of the local ones, from "experience" in those yards you might say. And most of those guys were pretty generous to us wild kids who wanted to build race cars. I have slept in the back seat of a car, in a pickup truck bed and on somebody's porch in York, Me when Beech Ridge got rained out on a Sat night! Man I don't think I could do that now. It was just a wonderful time and I am sure we would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

MB
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Dirtman

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2021, 10:28:59 PM »
I'd do it all over again without a doubt! I've still got the specs to build one of my record breaking 406 Fords! I'm ready,,,,,,,oh almost for got, got to go rob a bank to pay for those parts, lol.......I'd probably pay as much for a 406 crank shaft today as I did for the whole shebang back then1

Rett

Maineboy

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2021, 06:53:21 PM »
......"got to go rob a bank to pay for those parts, lol"......

When we were kids we had jobs pumping gas, working on farms, working in small stores etc. I even had a job shoveling out hen houses every 49 days. Minimum wage but we loved having BIG money as my dad called it, as opposed to 50 cents to a dollar for mowing lawns.  And down at Ellsworth Auto Parts in 1965 we could buy all the parts we needed, rod and main bearings, rings and gaskets to rebuild a small block Chevy or 1950 Ford Flat head motor, for $40! You almost need a home equity loan to buy parts for a Ford flathead today. And SBC's aren't far behind. That 406 was a good motor. In a 63 two door sedan and a 4 spd that was a great hit when I was in high school I remember how cool it was to see that 406 emblem on the front fender.  Those surely were the days and sadly they are gone now.

Lot of kids today don't want to work as they were raised that way. Pumping gas is a thing of the past. God knows how many hot cars were built in service station bays while the owner was not busy at the pumps. There was a tremendous amount of pride, and satisfaction, at being able to say you built it yourself. The well to do kids had fancy cars but we had the pride as we rode around in our 55 Chevy's, 56 Fords or 48 Fords with Chevy motors.  We had great fun, for very little money really and I think most of us remember now much fun it was. Circle track racing at the local fairgrounds horse track attracted tens of thousands to watch the races in Maine and I am sure many other states especially the rural ones.

Sometimes I get  tothinking about those days and wish we could have them again. I spend a lot of time what kind of memories our kids are going to have when they get to be our age.

MB
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 06:55:06 PM by Maineboy »
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Fordguy01

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2021, 11:11:03 PM »
Bob, that looks like a very ambitious project indeed keep us posted on progress.  If you guys are interested in building a jalopy Clay kemp did a nice pictoral buildup of his father's race car from back in  I guess the 50's and or 60's.  He did it in SAE April 2008.  Eventually I want to try my hand at it only using the 34 Sedan kit. You guys are right parts were cheap and somewhat plentiful back then.  We called it "Run what ya brung" and we had a blast whether it was for circle track, drag or street rods it was all just a real hoot.  Item of interest for you guys I went to Model Cars and More today and the new reissued and updated 30 Ford Coupe by Revell has been released.  They substituted the old SBC with the fuel injected Buick from the first issue of the 29 Ford Roadster.  My kit was $30.00.  Keep building fellas.

Al 

Maineboy

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2021, 11:41:48 PM »
Just about every race car I saw in Maine, in the late 1960's, including the super mods that ran at Beech Ridge was homebuilt, in the back yard, or one of the bays at the filling station.

"Run what you brung" was always been my favorite method of car racing. Race against a guy today and lose?  See what he did and try to build it a little better so you can beat him next time.  It was just about all backyard engineering by guys building cars out of what they could find.....cheap.  Been a way of life around these parts for all the time I have been on this planet.

Yes, build on guys and tell us as much about it as you can. The more we talk the more we can learn about this hobby and the cars and drivers that did the real racing.

MB
"Rodder, racer,  builder, farmer, backyard engineer"

Fordguy01

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2021, 12:05:32 AM »
You're absolutely right MB!  Once i  a while I'll run across an old racer at one of my A.A. meetings and it's fun to pick his brain and I think he enjoys it also.

Al

Dirtman

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2021, 07:41:18 AM »
When I got out of racing, I put my 406 in my street driven '64 Ford. Didn't get beat very much with that one!!!

Rett

Maineboy

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Re: Another "Jalopy"
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2021, 09:19:00 AM »

Rett,

    The local Ford dealer got in a 64 Galaxy XL with the 425 hp 427 with dual carbs and a four speed. Bright red with black interior. That drew us kids to the Ford garage like cow poop draws flies. Man was that a pretty car. Sat there for several weeks and at least a dozen of us wanted it, but that takes money and we didn't have much then.

A friend who was bit older than me had been shipping out on Sun Oil company tank ships for a while. Don't get to spend your money when you are out to sea. He came home and I told him about the Galaxy XL. Next thing I know it was rolling into my driveway with him behind the wheel. Would set your head back at any speed. I think those big Fords were pretty conservatively rated, for Nascar purposes as ford was in it heavily then. He replaced the ring and pinion twice. There was definitely a learning curve to driving it. Those big blocks were/still are some motor. I have seen quite a bit done with them over the years. Those motors won a lot of NASCAR races. Been a small block Chevy guy for most of my life but enjoy all those high power engines no matter what company built em. Love watching guys build them to have more power than anyone ever thought possible.

MB
"Rodder, racer,  builder, farmer, backyard engineer"